UN-Habitat and Bureau Technique des Villes Libanaises Host a Consultative Meeting on the Global Alliance for Urban Crises

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13 December 2018
UN-Habitat and Bureau Technique des Villes Libanaises Host a Consultative Meeting on the Global Alliance for Urban Crises
On December 13, 2018, UN-Habitat and Bureau Technique des Villes Libanaises and on behalf of the Global Alliance for Urban Crises, hosted a consultation entitled “Adapting Humanitarian Response in Urban Contexts: Regional Consultation on Key Instruments-Middle East Consultation”. This joint consultative event brings together all alliance constituencies providing the opportunity to contribute to the knowledge products currently being produced by the Global Alliance to ensure the views of the different constituencies are properly reflected and foster peer-to-peer exchange among humanitarian, development, academic and local authority representatives and built environment specialists engaged in the urban crises. 

In his welcome remarks, Mr. Tarek Osseiran, Program Manager of UN-Habitat, stressed on the importance of this event that builds on the exchange of views of different constituencies in Lebanon. Mr. Osseiran said, “Today, the event is one of a series of consultations organized by the Alliance with the aim to better understand the dynamics between local governments and humanitarian agencies during and in the aftermath of urban crises.” He continued, touching on UN-Habitat’s interventions post the Syrian refugee crisis, “As UN-Habitat Lebanon, and since the outbreak of the Syria refugee crisis, we were convinced that local governments should be in the driving seat, leading and facilitating the response within their communities. When we realized that the implication of the crisis was even worse on cities and their poor neighborhoods, the Programme promoted analytical and technical tools that helped local governments better understand the serious risks resulted from increased vulnerabilities.”

In his intervention, Mr. Philippe Lazzarini, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon, praised the efforts put to convene this meeting and reiterated the importance of collaboration and commitment to respond to the challenges pertaining to the Syrian refugee crisis. He stated “as UN system and humanitarian actors, we are here to support national governments in their primary responsibility to address the needs of those affected by a humanitarian crisis and to help support governments in their development trajectory towards achieving the SDGs. This means aligning humanitarian action and development work, so we are able to address acute needs while at the same fast-tracking recovery.”

The full day event included presentations from the alliance, local authorities and international agencies to share their experiences and lessons in preparing for, responding to and recovering from urban crisis in the Middle East and North Africa. Participants were actively engaged in working groups. Their discussions provided the basis for making the alliance's work relevant to the region and facilitated the way forward for the alliance's respective areas of work including strengthening the engagement between local authorities and humanitarian actors, urban profiling in crisis settings and building resilience in the aftermath of urban crises.